To what extent do we allow others to influence our views of ourselves?

I interested in instances where individuals trust others based on the fact that others see all of the individual’s actions unfolding while remaining an independent agent. The third person “observer” view is considered so valuable in the sciences due to its apparent neutrality and in a way it invalidates the obviousness and directness of individuals’ first-person experiences. I wonder if the individual begins to doubt him or herself based on the fact that the other has a seemingly “supreme” position of viewing the individual from a “non-biased” external position. Of course I know it is valuable to get objective insight into our experiences, but in my research on social contagions in personal memory I have found instances where this ‘objective’ information offered by another person is taken to an extreme, where individuals seem to question their own (past) actions as they reflect with new information offered by a separate agent in the instance of a shared experience. How do we negotiate our own recollections and our own self-image with that offered by others and how can we find a balance?

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